By John Delia

Jun 21, 2013 08:26 AM EST


World War Z Theatrical Review

World War Z Is An excellent film that runs true-to-form for action lovers.

The opening sequence in the zombie thriller World War Z gets so intense that I white knuckled as I grabbed the arms of my seat, the film's that shocking.  These 15 minutes alone are worth the price of admission.  It's like watching a Roland Emmerich film on steroids (Day After Tomorrow, 2012) only more daunting.  If you like films that are non-stop, compelling, gripping and terrify at every turn than this movie should do the trick. 
The story centers on Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) who has just retired from the United Nations investigation team to be with his family away from the danger of his past life.  After a morning of pancakes Gerry, his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and his two young girls Constance (Sterling Jerins) and Rachel (Abigail Hargrove) take off in their car for a vacation.  On their way out of Philadelphia they run into a massive traffic jam in the downtown area.  Wondering what is happening, Gerry gets out of his car to see explosions and commotion in the streets with hundreds of zombies biting and infecting people while on a rampage.
From this point on the nonstop action and violence doesn't let up with Gerry getting his family to safety then being enlisted in a mission to get a scientist to Korea where they may have an answer to the crisis of the global pandemic.  Director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) does an excellent job of keeping his film tight, letting out the mystery of where the infection began, whether it can be controlled and what the future has in store for the world.  He uses Pitt as his piper who we follow into the unknown blindly at first then revelation bit by bit with the spooling out of more of the story as it unfolds. 
Brad Pitt doesn't fail as Gerry the strong willed ex-United Nations agent who has put himself in danger in conflicted nations like Rwanda and Bosnia.  Pitt plays him as a staunch family man, yet a daring one who believes in humanity and its survival.  While the role could have gone to many, Pitt certainly shows his penchant for the part as he gets involved in one tight situation after another.  His ability through expression to show the oncoming danger, determination to deal with it and empathy for loss of life around him makes his character realistic to the story.
Other actors that holds the plot together include Mireille Enos (TV's The Killing) and Daniella Kertesz both in key roles.  While Enos takes on Karin the strong willed mother who stays in the fight during very violent scenes and then comforts her family while nervous about her husband on a dangerous mission. From loving to frantic she goes through many behavior changes during the film and handles them all well.  In her first major film, Kertesz gives us a good show as Segen an Israeli soldier who ends up with Gerry on the final leg of his mission.  Kertesz makes Segen tough, courageous and determined even under the most perilous conditions and terrifying situations.
The computer graphics, sets, special effects and extreme make-up make the show work.  Zombies look hideously realistic, the onslaught by them takes on a creepy atmosphere and even close-ups of the undead are perfect with chattering teeth and bulging white eyes.  The beginning attack gets really panicky and as we watch Gerry try to get his family to safety the zombies are turning their prey in a matter of seconds multiplying in the thousands.
World War Z has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that may be inappropriate for younger children. 
FINAL ANALYSIS: An excellent film that runs true-to-form for action lovers. (A)

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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 110 minutes
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures

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